In Depth

NBC Adds $15 Million to Olympic Ad Sales Tally

NBC continues to reap the benefit of the Phelps effect, adding another $15 million to its already impressive Olympics ad sales total.

The network said Tuesday that it sold the extra ad inventory within the last week. Add in $10 million it sold in the first couple days of the Games, and NBC has increased its Olympic ad revenue haul by $25 million since the Games began. Overall, NBC has billed more than $1 billion to advertisers for the privilege of hawking their wares during the Olympiad.

Seth Winter, NBC’s senior VP of sports sales and marketing, said retail, packaged goods, movies and pharmaceuticals were among the categories driving the recent ad sales. More than 100 companies have bought time on the Games, as have both presumptive U.S. presidential nominees.

While NBC doesn’t seem to be having any trouble convincing advertisers to get on board the Beijing bandwagon, the network nonetheless touted a new Nielsen IAG study detailing the value of Olympics advertising.

The study said brand recall for Olympics ads was 130% higher than other prime-time shows, and that message recall was more than twice as high. Also, viewers were three times more likely to positively respond to an ad screened during the Olympics, compared with those seen in regular prime-time shows.

NBC said that more than 196 million viewers have watched the 2008 Olympics on the various NBC Universal networks during the first 10 days of the Games. That’s 11 million more than watched the first 10 days of the Athens Olympics.